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China Probes Former Senior Aide to Hu Jintao Over Graft

BEIJING — China's ruling Communist Party announced a corruption investigation into a one-time senior aide to former president Hu Jintao on Monday, as President Xi Jinping opens another front in his sweeping battle against deep-rooted graft. In a terse and brief statement on its website, the party's anti-corruption watchdog said that Ling Jihua was being investigated for "suspected serious discipline violations", the usual euphemism for graft. It gave no other details.

But two sources with ties to the leadership said that Ling, who heads a party body charged with reaching out to non-Communists and holds a rank equivalent to a vice premier, may escape prosecution. "He is under investigation, but it does not necessarily mean he will be prosecuted," one source with ties to the leadership told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Ling was demoted in September 2012 after sources said his son was involved in a deadly crash involving a luxury sports car. As of Monday evening, Ling's picture and biography were still on the United Front's website, implying that despite the probe he still has his job.

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— Reuters